Customer experience (CX) can be defined as any interaction that your organization has with your customer, and it’s becoming top of mind within the C-suite at most businesses. In fact, Walker Information states that customer experience will overtake price and product as key brand differentiators by the end of 2020 and, according to Capgemini, 80% of consumers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
As competition rises due to new entrants to the market, new technologies and changes in how customers buy, transportation companies are starting to rethink their go-to-market strategy, including a better understanding of what matters most to today’s buyer. Focusing less on price and product and more on the customer experience will improve transport businesses by differentiating them from their competitors.
Wondering how to improve your transport business through customer experience? Here are seven simple steps.
1. Personalize Your Messaging
Customer expectations are evolving. Even in the business-to-business (B2B) world, every customer and prospect has specific needs. So why do so many companies treat everyone the same? The more you attempt to understand their unique situation, the more trustworthy you are to the buyer and the more engaged they become.
Marketing automation software, such as HubSpot, allows you to improve your transport business’ efficiency by automating personalization. Here are some examples of how top transportation companies are using personalized messaging to improve customer experience:
- Invest in a chatbot: Chatbots can be used for a variety of strategies and can be customized to meet your exact needs. Some successful transport companies implement a chatbot on their website that customers can use to get tracking information on shipments.
- Implement Smart CTAs: These automatically update depending on the viewer’s stage of the buyer’s journey. For example, if a prospect is viewing it, it may say, “Request a Quote.” If a customer is viewing it, it may say, “Log Into the Customer Portal.”
- Utilize automated targeted emails: If you offer numerous products or services, you can set up an automated workflow within HubSpot that sends targeted emails to customers cross-selling or upselling them. For example, if you have customers in the food industry who are shipping non-perishable items, you can send a series of automated emails encouraging them to also utilize your refrigerated trucking services for their other product shipments.
2. Keep Your Website up to Date
Having a website that is easy to use and clearly communicates the information your customer is looking for is essential to improving your transport business’ customer experience. For example, imagine visiting a website that takes forever to load and is a disaster to navigate through. This type of engagement creates a negative experience. Here are a few things to pay attention to when it comes to keeping your website up to date:
- Site load time: A slow load time on your site can result in a negative user experience. Slow load times can not only be frustrating for your users, but it can decrease your ranking on Google and cause your site to be listed lower on a search results page. You can check your website’s speed using the free PageSpeed Insights tool from Google.
- Ease of use: Make sure the pages on your website are as clean and organized as possible, and keep them updated with current information. This will let your users access the information they need as easily as possible.
- Mobile optimized: A report conducted by BrightEdge stated that 57% of all internet traffic comes from smartphones and tablets. In Google Analytics, you can see exactly what percentage of your website traffic is coming from mobile. Making sure your website is optimized for mobile devices is critical for user experience and search engine optimization (SEO).
3. Encourage Your Customers to Be Evangelists
Your sales team can tell prospects all day about how great your company is, but when your customers do it, it speaks volumes. Here are a few ways to start encouraging your customers to be brand evangelists:
- Start a referral program: Incentivizing customers to refer new customers is one of the oldest tricks in the book, but it still works. Give your top customers a discount or gift every time they refer new business to you. This saves your sales team time and generally produces better customers.
- Engage in one-on-one communication: In today’s digital world, it is easy to communicate with customers rarely or not at all. However, it is more important now than ever to get face time, or at least phone time, with top customers. When customers associate your brand with a human, they are more likely to refer others and remain a customer in the long run.
- Engage on social media: Monitor social media for brand mentions and respond when users mention your company. Whether the mentions are good or bad, responding and being proactive will paint your company in a good light and build trust. To take it a step further, when your customer has a good experience, ask them to post about it on social media.
4. Create a Strong Team and Company Culture
Your employees can play a huge factor in customer experience. A negative customer experience that resulted from a rude or unengaged employee can be very detrimental to a business and can cause the customer to stop doing business with the company altogether. Every employee should reflect the company in a positive and respectful manner. Some tips for creating a strong team and company culture include:
- Focus on employee engagement: If your employees have a positive outlook on the company, it’s highly likely that the positive outlook will radiate through their actions and engagements with customers.
- Recruit and retain top talent: Recruiting top talent is more difficult than it seems, especially for the transportation industry where finding workers is one of the biggest challenges. Survey your top employees and find out what motivates them. Use this knowledge to improve company culture as a whole.
- Become an employer of choice: The more you work to position your company as an employer of choice, the more your company will stand out in this competitive hiring market. Apply for awards like Inc. Best Workplaces or local publications and showcase these awards prominently on your website.
5. Adapt to Changes in the Industry
It’s no secret that technology in the transportation and logistics industry is evolving. Some of the advancements in technology within the industry include Telematics and GPS fleet tracking systems, ELDs (electronic logging devices) and mobile technology. Not only can these technology advancements improve the customer experience by minimizing errors and providing more transparency into deliveries, but it can also save time and money for your company as well.
Along with adapting and investing in these changes within the industry, it’s also important to continue to focus on your digital assets, such as your website and social media channels. Waiting to invest in your digital assets can cause your company to lose important opportunities to build brand value, attract talent, create and nurture long-term client relationships and gather important information on your website visitors.
6. Focus on Customer Retention
Customer retention refers to the actions that a company takes to retain their existing customers. A positive customer experience is key to improving customer retention. In a competitive industry such as the transportation and logistics industry, creating loyal customers is very important. Taking action to retain your existing customers will set you apart from your competitors. Here’s how:
- Get their feedback: Find out what your customers liked and disliked about their experience with your company by using surveys. Listen and learn and adapt as appropriate.
- Invest in customer service: The most successful companies have a strong customer service team that is polite, knowledgeable and timely.
- Recognize loyal customers: When a customer hits an anniversary or milestone with your company, celebrate it. Little gestures like a handwritten note, a social media spotlight or a small gift (like delivering a box of donuts to the office) can go a long way in retaining top customers.
7. Organizational Commitment
Providing a good customer experience is the responsibility of everyone in the organization, top to bottom. Having everyone in the organization on the same page with key company goals and objectives and the processes in place to achieve them will contribute to company success and customer happiness.